I am trying to translate the following:

Can the expression "몇 살 먹었다" be used only among friends, or can I use it with people I met recently who I don't know well?

Here is my attempt:

몇 살 먹었다 라는 칠문은 친구들과만 사용할 수 있어? 좀전에 잘 모르는 만난 사람과 이 말 사용해도 돼?

But I don't know how to say it in a natural way. Could you please correct me?

  • "몇 살 먹었냐"라는 질문은 친구들한테만 사용할 수 있어? 전에 잘 모르거나 오래만에 안 만난 사람한테 이 말을 해도 되겠어?
    – user237
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 14:01

2 Answers 2


A native speaker I asked suggested only small changes:

"몇 살 먹었다" 라는 질문은 친구들에게만 사용할 수 있어? 아니면 좀 전에 만난 잘 모르는 사람에게 이 말을 사용해도 돼?

  • added quotes to match the usage of '라는' (or if you don't want to use quotes, you could say 몇 살 먹었냐는 질문)
  • corrected 칠문 to 질문
  • added 아니면 as a more explicit 'or'
  • put '좀 전에 만난' together to make the meaning clearer
  • changed 과 to 에게, as that's more appropriate for asking a question
  • 네, 알겠습니다! 정말 감사합니다!
    – LexRomah
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 16:18
  • 친구들과만 is a little bit awkward, I suppose. [몇 살 먹었다는 질문] is weird because "몇살 먹었다" is not form of question. [for asking a question] is ambiguous explanation . I think it's not a big deal but to be more exact, it should be [for using the words to someone]. I mean, the point of "에게" in this sentence is "to". I agree the other analysis.
    – Ting Choe
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 16:52
  • @TINGCHOE maybe I should say '친구들에게만' to be consistent? Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 17:02
  • 1
    친구들에게만 is good to hear.
    – Ting Choe
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 17:06
  • @TINGCHOE though I can see that "몇 살 먹었다" isn't itself a question, I assumed that "몇 살 먹었다" 라는 질문 made sense because it's a kind of 'infinitive' or 기본형, which would become a question when you add the question endings? I could be wrong. Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 17:08

"몇 살 먹었다" 라는 표현은 친구들[하고만or한테만] 사용할 수 있어? 아니면 좀 전에 만나서 잘 모르는 사람[에게or한테] 이 말 사용해도 돼?

*"몇 살 먹었다" is not 질문.

You can ask someone's age like

  1. 몇 살이세요?
  2. 연세가 어떻게 되세요?

"연세" is honorifics of "나이". So 2. is more polite expression. Both are already honorifics so you can use for everyone.


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